The Witness

First Appearance: Mystic Comics #7 (December 1941).
Golden Age Appearances: Mystic Comics #7-9.
Modern Appearances: None.
Years Active: 1941-?

No origin was given for the Witness. He had no superpowers, but was good with his fists and was a killer vigilante.

Ha. As if that was all there was to say about the Witness. As always, the estimable Ronald Byrd has rescued me:

In Mystic #7 and #8, the Witness is indeed a costumed hero. However, #9 sees him active in a suit, hat, and mask, basically differentiated from the Clock or Midnight only by a mustache (which, of course, he didn't have as a costumed hero).  The narrator-type Witness seen in various titles has neither mask nor mustache and wears a trenchcoat; I'm going to be assuming that the two are one and the same---if Captain America (III) could narrate some stories, why not the Witness?---but it's a personal choice.  Aside from a questionable "sixth sense" that could just be the sort of heightened awareness that one is not going to last long in the hero business without, the Witness has no super-powers, only the (when you stop to think about it) improbably high level of strength and gymnastic skill that most non-powered golden age heroes had.

In #7, upon observing some of Natas's hired killers in action, the Witness gives the closest thing to a raison d'etre that he seems to have:  "One again I have witnessed an act of evil!  And once again I shall act!"  In fact, the Witness appears to take his name pretty seriously: in #8 he watches some crooks break into a store and does not actually confront them until AFTER they have committed the crime.  In #9, when some gangsters dump a beaten victim into the river, the Witness, instead of preventing them from tossing the comatose man into the water, WAITS UNTIL THEY'RE FINISHED before he rescues the man.  It's as if the Witness is for some reason forbidden to take action until a crime has in fact been committed, but once the initial crime occurs, it's a different matter; in #7 he tracks Natas's League of Blood far from the city, noting "No matter where you commit your terrible crimes, I will be there to witness them."

Note: I realize it's only a coincidence, but I can't help but wonder if the original writer of Mystic #7 had read George Griffith's The Angel of the Revolution and seen the Natas in there.

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